Friday, January 16, 2015

The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing

Horn Book (January/February, 2014)
Those who visited Tupelo Landing previously (in Newbery Honor book Three Times Lucky, rev. 7/12) are familiar with the numerous colorful inhabitants of this small North Carolina town. Newcomers, though, will need more than a smidgen of time and patience to sort them all out, time that would be more enjoyably spent reading the first book. But once readers get the lay of the land, their efforts will be rewarded. Mo LoBeau (accent on the final syllable) and her best friend Dale find themselves slap-dab in the middle of another mystery. When the abandoned Tupelo Inn goes up for auction, Mo and Dale accompany Miss Lana (who, along with The Colonel, form Mo's "family of choice") and Grandmother Miss Lacy (no relation, but the nicest old person in town) to the sale. Fearing that a snippy banker will buy the property, the two women outbid her and take ownership of the ramshackle inn and all its history, including a strange apparition. Mo's distinctive voice, full of humor and Southern colloquialisms, narrates a tale with as many twists and turns as North Carolina's own Tar River, giving readers a sweet, laid-back story that reveals a ghost who, bless her heart, just wants to set the record straight about her death. betty carter

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